Events I experienced:
Monday was nothing special.
Tuesday was good! We helped the Hub family get wood from the forest. Always a fun thing. Then we had dinner with the Bar family and Nes! I think that helped him to feel the love from the members, and hopefully that'll give him motivation to go back to church.
Wednesday was fun, I got to do an exchange with Elder Dunn! He's from Santa Barbara, he loves cars and guns. He's a fun guy, we ported a lot (the whole day) and got sunburned, but it's ok. It was a fun day! You can really get to know a person well by porting with them, because you have lots of time to talk!
Thursday, district meeting in Perigueux! The second district meeting is up to the district leader, so I chose to talk about success. I briefly touched on this during my first district meeting, and I felt that it would be good to go over. We read the definitions of success in PMG p. 10,11 (in French, at least) and we read a great poem about success that I love, called "The Race." We also read the Fourth Missionary, a good talk given by Elder Corbridge of the Seventy. My goal was to help people realize why success is. It isn't baptisms! That is often an exterior indicator of success, but real success is never giving up. Success isn't a final destination, it is a state, the state of trying and never giving up, when we kill the natural man inside of us and seek God's will 100%. I think people liked the meeting, I did give them all chocolate after a fun squat jump game we played. Afterwards, we had a finding day in Perigueux, and I did my exchange with Elder Kimble, it was very fun as well! He's a good friend.
Friday! TRANSFER CALLS! I was super nervous but excited at the end. Elder Storti is staying and receiving Elder Carlson, whom I don't know. I'm going to Nice to be with Elder Nadauld; we'll be the zone leaders there. It'll be sick! Elder Nadauld is incredible, he was an Assistant when I came in, the first France Lyon missionary I hugged when we got into the airport! He started his mission in Brive, so we'll have lots to talk about. We saw the O'Ms down in Beynac today, it was super beautiful! There are lots of castles everywhere.
Saturday was sweet, we had a picnic with J-L and Frere D. It was beautiful! We did some planning and packing, then we swung by the Cal family to give a spiritual thought and say goodbye.
Sunday, we walked to the church [early, in time to make a 6 AM France time call home for Mother's Day]. We met a lot of drunk people on the way, people coming out of night clubs. It was strange. After church, I said goodbye to everyone, got pictures, didn't cry, surprisingly! We ate lunch with President Brig, it was delicious. We came home from lunch and I did last minute packing, then J.D. picked us up and took us to the gare. Nes didn't come to church, but he did come to the gare to help me with suitcases. He carried the big one on his head, African style. It was impressive! We took gare pics and then took the train to Bordeaux. I did my Sunday calls in the bathroom, the quietest place on the train. A little stinky but oh well. We got in to Bordeaux and slept with the zone leaders and Angouleme.
Lessons I learned:
Mother Teresa said this: "People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." This is powerful stuff! Why do we let others pollute our righteous actions? So what if they're not nice! Be nice! Who cares? I have learned on my mission to not care about what others think, in a sense. You have to have thick skin and not be affected by the naysayers and the haters.
(free) Advice I have:
"A Doorway Called Love" by President Monson, October 1987 Gen Conf. A wonderful talk with a sweet old lady story. Good read!
Think about your success in your life. Read Helaman 5 for a good success story.
It's been a long day. It's been a good 6 months in Brive. I'm off to Nice for lots of hard work and lots of fun! Thanks for reading!
Love, Elder MacArthur
Many photos I took are on my camera, not iPad, so I you'll have to wait on those till next week.
|The Beynac Castle|
|The super crew of Pangouliviers|
|The Nice Elders: Nadauld, Latu, Ben and Raherimandimby|
|A scary dog|